What is Embolisation?

Embolisation is a minimally invasive process of causing an organ or tumour to reduce in size by blocking its blood supply. This can be achieved using a number of different materials such as small foam particles, metal coils or, as in the case of fibroid embolisation, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) particles specially designed for the purpose. The interventional radiologists performing the procedure already have years of experience of embolisation in other parts of the body for problems such as cancerous growths or to stop bleeding following trauma or childbirth. Uterine fibroid embolisation simply applies these skills and techniques in the context of uterine fibroids.

Uterine Artery Embolisation for Fibroids

Also known as UAE, Uterine Fibroid Embolisation (UFE) or Fibroid Embolisation or Embolization (the American spelling).

UAE applies the concepts of embolisation to the treatment of uterine fibroids. The treatment does not physically remove the fibroids as would open surgery like myomectomy or hysterectomy but aims to block the blood supply to the fibroids so they shrink gradually over a number of months. The main advantage of the procedure is that it is minimally invasive, is performed under local anaesthetic, requires only one night in hospital and allows a rapid return to normal activities.

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